DENVER, Colo. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Colorado Department of Emergency Management are opening a Disaster Recovery Center in La Junta at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 22.
The center, located at 215 Raton Avenue in La Junta, Colorado, is open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. over the weekend, and 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday-Friday. However, Federal Coordinating Officer Scott Logan emphasized that the first step for people with flood losses is to call FEMA to register for assistance.
"Before visiting a recovery center, individuals with flood losses should call 1-800-462-9029 to register for assistance," Logan said. "A variety of federal, state and voluntary agencies are available to answer questions about assistance programs, check on the status of your application, and direct you to voluntary agencies who may be able to assist with needs not met by state or federal programs. However, the recovery centers are primarily a source of information once you have registered for assistance."
Assistance programs that may be available to eligible applicants include:
- Disaster Housing Assistance, administered by FEMA, for individuals and families whose homes were destroyed or made unlivable as a result of the flooding. The program provides funding for temporary accommodations or repairs needed to make a home safe, secure and livable.
- Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration for homeowners, renters or business owners for the repair, replacement or rebuilding of disaster-damaged property.
- Grants through the Individual and Family Grant program for people who have serious immediate needs resulting from the disaster that cannot be met by other sources.
- Technical advice and common-sense strategies to minimize losses from future disasters.
The Disaster Recover Center is open to everyone, and state and voluntary agencies may be able to provide assistance to a wide variety of flood victims. However, under the disaster declaration signed by President Clinton at the request of Governor Owens only residents and business owners in the designated counties (Bent, El Paso, Larimer, Otero, and Weld) are eligible for federal disaster assistance.